I find myself dumbfounded when people boast about their perfect no-head pour or when stores advertise “coldest beer in town”. These are two of the biggest myths of beer preparation in the good ol’ U.S. of A.
First off, all beer should have some head when poured correctly. Some beer types of course will produce less head than others but you always want about half an inch to an inch. Why? Because all beer is made of delicious hops and other aroma producing ingredients which directly impacts the taste. Also because it helps keep the carbonation in the beer so it wont taste completely flat when you get to the bottom.
When pouring a non-wheat beer, you are supposed to pour it into a glass at around a 45 degree angle or less (depending on stream speed, alcohol content, etc.), and then as the beer starts to get full, turn it upright. There should be some head pouring over the glass and the bottom of the head should be turning back into beer. While the overflowing head is going down the glass, take a flat object such as a popsicle stick and scrape off all excess foam from the top. This tapers the foam and stops it from overflowing. Also it provides a solid layer to keep carbonation in.
Tip: When pouring from a tap, don’t worry about catching that first drop that comes out of the tap. You actually want to wait until the stream hits the drain before you slide your glass into the stream. This will result in a fresher tasting beer. Check out this video.
The preparation of a wheat beer can get a bit more complicated. Bottled wheat beer usually has some kind of sediment at the bottom of the bottle and needs to be mixed around the beer before pouring. Do not shake the beer! Simply lay the beer bottle down and roll it back in forth slowly until you feel the sediment is mixed in well.
The pouring of wheat beer is near impossible for first timers. Slowly pour it into a tall “Weizen” or “tall boy” glass at around a 25 degree angle. Continue pouring at such angle until the beer/head reaches the edge of the glass and slowly start turning the glass upright simultaneously to the beer. When finished there should be a 2-3 inch head with some left still in the bottle. There is a cool trick for this. Check this video.
“The colder the better” mentality of preparing beer is completely wrong, unless you do hate the taste of beer and just drink it to be social. To maximize beer taste, it should be stored in around 40-45 degrees fahrenheit. Most Americans drink their beer at near beer-freezing temperatures which eliminates much of the aromas and thus, the taste. You might realize how much you really don’t like your favorite beer. This isn’t because the beer is warm; it is because the beer isn’t that good.
TLDR; Just watch the videos 🙂
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